A hunkering sadness pervades the opening moments of Mia Dai Todd’s rendition “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, the latest album from an independent singer-songwriter who’s been cracking at the music scene for almost two decades. Her avant-garde take on folk stylings have emotionally engaged her audience since 1997’s The Ewe and the Eye, and—breaking out the “like wine” trope, here—she’s only gotten better with age.
Songbook, her 2016 full-length effort, proves as much. Featuring a laidback instrumentation, Todd’s resonant, sweet vocals remain the glue that keeps the psychedelia tied together with lower-key reflections on life that feel more genuine and less indulgent as one might expect from a covers record.
As understandable as it might be for some to feel tired of a revered songwriter performing other people’s songs for the second consecutive album in a row, she does deliver the goods. All-in-all, Songbook still remains something worth giving an ear to—enough so that it would be a shame if the more belligerent among us were to not entertain it for reasons aforementioned.
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